Welcome to Wolves Roundup, a weekly report of highlights, notes and transactions from the Chicago Wolves’ previous week of competition during the 2017-18 season.
Then There Were 25
Sunday, the Chicago Wolves announced they pared their roster to 25 players, a 12-man difference from the 37 they commenced their 24th training camp with a week earlier.
The week-long camp included on- and off-ice training, intrasquad scrimmages and concluded with two preseason contests against Central Division rivals. Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson and his staff — assistant coaches Chris Dennis and Bob Nardella and goaltending coach Stan Dubicki — were joined by Quad City Mallards head coach Phil Axtell as the camp’s on-ice personnel. Wolves’ braintrust — general manager Wendell Young and senior advisor/director of hockey operations Gene Ubriaco — scouted from the stands of Triphahn Ice Arena.
There was no shortage of veterans in attendance at training camp. Wolves mainstay Brett Sterling returned to the ice looking to earn a roster spot. His former World Juniors teammate Mike Brown also was invited to training camp, while 30-year-old center Brock Trotter signed a professional tryout contract with the Wolves on Sept. 20. All three are part of the remaining 25 players.
Other familiar faces include Bryce Gervais, who skated in 68 games last season for the Wolves, and defenseman-turned-forward Scooter Vaughan.
This year’s training camp featured a lot of new faces as the Wolves’ new partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights began to take shape. Jake Bischoff, Chris Casto, Oscar Dansk, Keegan Kolesar, Maxime Lagace, Stefan Matteau, Paul Thompson and T.J. Tynan, all under contract with Vegas, participated in Wolves training camp and are part of the remaining 25 players.
The Wolves also signed a few new faces during the offseason, including the Western Hockey League’s top goal-scorer, Tyler Wong, and former Stockton Heat defenseman Kenney Morrison. Dmitry Osipov — a 20-year-old from the WHL — signed with Chicago on Sept. 24 after being released from Vegas’ inaugural training camp.
The 24-year-old netminder graced the ice in a Chicago Wolves jersey for the first time on Saturday and backstopped the club to a 3-1 over the victory the Milwaukee Admirals at UWM Panther Arena. In his unofficial Wolves debut, the Quebec native played a full 60 minutes and turned aside 30 of the 31 shots he faced for the win. Lagace was part of a group of seven players from the Vegas Golden Knights loaned to Chicago on Sept. 24.
A training camp invitee, the veteran right wing made his presence known as he scored three goals in two preseason games for the Wolves. A long-time Wolves player, Sterling came to camp looking to earn a full-time roster spot. The 33-year-old was one of a handful of players to appear in both the Wolves’ preseason contests against Central Division opponents. His three goals helped the Wolves finish their brief exhibition schedule undefeated.
After signing a professional tryout contract with the Wolves on Sept. 20, the former American Hockey League 30-goal scorer was looking to earn an AHL roster spot for the first time since the 2011-12 campaign. In two preseason contests for Chicago, Trotter nabbed a pair of assists and was one of 11 players to dress for both games.
- The Wolves opened preseason play with a win over their in-state rival, the IceHogs.
- Chicago and Rockford traded goals in the first, but the Wolves pulled ahead 4-2 in the middle frame with goals from Travis Ewanyk, Nelson Gadoury and Brett Sterling.
- The IceHogs netted a tally at 8:09 of the third to climb back within a goal.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk turned aside 7 shots through 39:46 of play before being relieved by C.J. Motte, who made 15 saves.
- Chicago finished preseason play undefeated with a victory against Milwaukee.
- Veteran Brett Sterling accounted for two of three Wolves goals and newcomer Kenney Morrison netted the other to open game scoring at 9:44 of the first period.
- The Wolves jumped out to a 2-0 in the first and the Admirals pulled within a goal at 7:45 of the third before Sterling notched the insurance marker.
- Goaltender Maxime Lagace stopped 30 of 31 shots he faced for the victory.
|Friday, Oct. 6||at Texas||HEB Center||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, Oct. 7||at Texas||HEB Center||7 p.m.|
|Saturday, Oct. 14||vs. Ontario||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.|
|Saturday, Oct. 21||vs. Tucson||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.|
|Sunday, Oct. 22||vs. Tucson||Allstate Arena||4 p.m.|